You know you’re on the west coast when the only people awake and about at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning are the cyclists.
This Sunday there was an organized ride through some of Seattle’s most picturesque neighborhoods, so even though the 55 miles turned out to be pretty lonely without a riding buddy, I found myself slowing down through the parks and tree-lined streets. The ride started at Myrtle Edwards Park on Elliott Bay near downtown, with sailboats and the Olympics on the horizon. The air was light and cool and I could almost feel the Pacific Ocean on my skin.
Seattle never ceases to amaze me. Between the neighborhoods perched on hilltops overlooking Mt. Rainier to the lakes and the Sound and the islands and the deep green urban parks that feel like a wilder elsewhere, this ride was the perfect way to spend one of my last weekends here.
My leaving is starting to feel more palpable. In less than three weeks I’ll leave the place I’ve spent a year of my life exploring. I go between excitement for a new beginning in yet another place and sadness at the end of summer–and my time–here.
Salmon know instinctively the route to their birthplace. Maybe there’s some internal compass in me, too, pointing the way even while the current runs against me. We’ll see what happens next.